Eden to Bermagui
Friday May 29 was moving on day – this time to Eden. We’ve spent time in some beautiful places and yet the next place always seems just as good if not better that the last. We loved our three days here. The first day we just spent looking around the town and Snug Cove wharf area. We weakened and bought fish and chips for lunch and thought we’d go down to the wharf to eat. Ron got there before the rest of us and when we rounded the corner to head on down he was surrounded by about 40 seagulls which were swooping down to try to get a free lunch for themselves. Within a couple of minutes David decided to go and bring the car down so that we could sit in it and eat in peace. We then had seagulls hovering outside the window and sitting on the bonnet looking in at us almost begging for food. On our second last day at Mallacoota David was outside our van cooking his bacon and eggs on our little gas stove. He turned his back to get the eggs out of the pan and a seagull swooped in, stole his bacon rasher off the plate and flew away with the rasher trailing and followed by a myriad of seagulls! We’re not too keen on seagulls now! After finishing lunch we drove up to Rotary Lookout which looks out over Twofold Bay.
Twofold Bay Wharf at Snug Cove
Twofold Bay from Rotary Lookout
On Saturday we spent most of the day at the southern section of Ben Boyd National Park. The park is named after a Scotsman, Ben Boyd, a 19th century entrepreneur who in the early 1840’s established Boydtown and also built a tower which was to be a lighthouse but was never approved. Instead it became a lookout for whalers to spot passing whales. By about 1847 his business ventures had failed and he left Australia in 1849. All that remains now are the tower and the Seahorse Inn. The inn was abandoned for about 90 years before it was refurbished in the 1930’s and then again in 2006. It looks as though it would be a great place to stay. As we were walking to the tower we were amazed to see an enormous toadstool. The views from the tower and nearby lookout were spectacular.
Giant toadstool Twofold Bay Ben Boyd Tower
View from Seahorse Inn Seahorse Inn
Our next stop was the multi-purpose Navy wharf which was built in 2003 in Twofold Bay at a cost of $43,000,000. It is quite an impressive sight. It is used by the Navy exclusively for up to 70 days per year and the rest of the year it is made available for commercial and local use. Just nearby and overlooking the bay is Edrom Lodge. It is a beautiful old home that was built just over a century ago by John R Lodge who was another Scottish entrepreneur who was instrumental in much of the development of Eden from the end of World War I until his death in 1937. The lodge is now open to the public to stay but is mostly for education groups. We moved on then to Davidson Whaling Station and Loch Garra which was the home of the Davidson family. They operated the whaling station for more than three generations and it was Australia’s longest shore-based whaling station. Not much remains of the station but we enjoyed wandering around the old home and its gardens.
Edrom Lodge Huge fenders at Navy Wharf Loch Garra
Finally we called in at Quarantine Bay to have a late picnic lunch. After eating we went to the boat ramp where we were entertained for ages by a seal, three giant stingrays and a pod of pelicans. When we returned to the park Di and I went to pay to stay for another night. We spent a while talking to the manager who told us he’d been out spearfishing and had speared two lobsters. Much to our surprise he offered them to us and we didn’t say no! They were still alive and there was much hilarity later on as we dealt with cooking them and then cutting them in half to eat. It was a great finish to a wonderful day.
Quarantine Bay Seal and stingray Pelican squadron
On Sunday we joined the folk at St George’s Uniting Church and had a wonderful time worshipping with them. They are a small congregation but very active in the community. They have a community garden which is open to the people of the town to work and share in. They also distribute about 20 food hampers per week to people in need within the town with goods for those sourced from donations from stores and folk in the community. We were very impressed by them and what they are doing. After sharing morning tea we left to visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum. It tells the story of the pods of killer whales which worked with Indigenous and European whalers to harass and herd larger whales towards the waiting harpoons of the whalers. It is one of the only known partnerships between wild animals and humans and we found the story fascinating. The skeleton of Old Tom who died in 1930 and was the last of the killer whales in Eden is housed there.
Old Tom’s skeleton Lighthouse at the museum The Pilot Psalm – 1874
David and Ron decided to try their hands at fishing later in the day so we all walked over to Aslings Beach near the caravan park. David caught an Australian salmon and then Di , who’d taken over from Ron because his hands were too cold to hold the rod, caught a little tailor which she returned to the sea to grow a little more. With that we all headed back to the park to thaw out and bring to an end another lovely day.
The fish The fishermen
Our next stop was to be at Merimbula, only a distance of 26km from Eden! David and I had stayed there in 1998 and loved the place so we decided to have another look there. We spent three lovely days visiting various places such as Pambula, Tathra, Kianinny Bay and the northern section of Ben Boyd National Park. At Pambula as we passed a caravan park it was raining and we were amused to see a number of kangaroos sheltering under the roofs of three cabins.
Kangaroos sheltering from the rain
On Tuesday we went to Tathra where we checked out the beaches and the old wharf which is the only open-sea timber wharf on Australia’s East Coast surviving from the coastal steamer trade era. It was built in 1862 and with several upgrades remained in service until 1954. From there we drove along the coast, stopping at a couple of lookouts (Pig and Whistle Lookout and Chamberlain Lookout) before finding our way down to Kianinny Bay. It was a good place to stop for lunch except for the cold wind which blew straight through us!
Walkway to old wharf Looking out from cargo shed Kianinny Bay
On our final day we drove back south a little to the northern section of the Ben Boyd National Park. We stopped firstly to look at Haycock Point and Haystack Rock. The surf was crashing in and as it was quite windy, the spray was blowing backwards as the breakers rolled in. There were a few friendly kangaroos along the path as we walked to the point who seemed more than happy to pose for photos. We had a quick look at Barmouth Beach which was more protected and then finally went to the Pinnacles. They are a formation of white sandstone with red cliffs behind them and, with the blue of the sea and sky and the green of shrubs above the cliffs, were quite striking.
Haycock Point David at Haycock Point Haystack Rock
Windswept waves Two Roos checking us out The Pinnacles
It was back to Merimbula then for a late lunch in a picnic area overlooking Short Point Beach before we returned to the vans for our last night in Merimbula.
Short Point Beach, Merimbula
We woke to a very cold morning on June 4 – Ron’s birthday. It started off with a bang when Di shut the glass top on their hotplates before they were cool. There was a great explosion and then glass everywhere in the van. Eventually it was all cleaned up and we said goodbye to Merimbula and left for Bermagui. We had a morning tea stop at Tathra as a birthday celebration and shivered our way through it as it was still only 3 degrees at 10.30 am. After booking in to the park in Bermagui and setting up we walked down town and eventually had a nice seafood lunch on the waterfront. A quiet afternoon followed with just a walk to the waterfront again at the end of the day to watch a lovely sunset.
On Thursday we drove north to visit Tilba Tilba, Central Tilba, Narooma and Cobargo. All except Narooma are classed as historic towns. There was not much to see at Tilba Tilba so we didn’t linger there. Central Tilba is like a mini Montville with quite a variety of shops to draw one in. We first went into the ABC Cheese Factory. Unfortunately there was no cheese being made but we watched milk being bottled in a semi-mechanised way which was interesting to see. We came out of the shop a little poorer as they had some yummy cheeses. Morning tea in a park was followed by a walk through the town and a look in many of the shops then it was back in the car for a drive through the hills behind Central Tilba – very pretty country. Next stop was Narooma – another coastal town on a large inlet called Wagonga Inlet. Again we had to fight off the seagulls as we ate our lunch by the water. It would be a nice place to stay but that will be for another time. Drove home through Cobargo and had a quick look at the old buildings there before returning to Bermagui.
Central Tilba Near Central Tilba Boatsheds at Narooma
Saturday was a lazy day in Bermagui. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful clear day so we spent time wandering around the waterfront and the town, coffee at Fishermen’s Wharf and then a slow stroll back to the park. David cooked a leg of lamb in the Weber for dinner which we made short work of!
Sunset at Bermagui
So that’s it for this week. We’ve moved on to Batemans Bay now and I’ll be back in a week or so.